Why does a criminal sentence of "life" in England not mean life imprisonment?

In the USA a life sentence truly means a life sentence. In the UK I read all the time of Criminals killing someone, getting sentenced for life then serving a mere 5 -10 years. I also read that the prison or justice system discourages prisoners from spending more than 10 years in jail otherwise it can make them... show more In the USA a life sentence truly means a life sentence. In the UK I read all the time of Criminals killing someone, getting sentenced for life then serving a mere 5 -10 years.

I also read that the prison or justice system discourages prisoners from spending more than 10 years in jail otherwise it can make them unfit for release into the public?

Why is the British justice system so weak on crime at a time when the UK has the serious growing crime rate.
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